Microsoft Internally Worked on a Mac OS X Aqua Theme for Windows XP

Windows XP Mac Aqua theme

Late last week, the Windows XP source code leaked and it has revealed that Microsoft was working on a theme that was similar to Apple’s Aqua theme that made its debut at the Macworld Conference & Expo in 2000.

The source code reveals that Microsoft was working on a number of themes for Windows XP, with the theme codenamed “candy” looking very similar to Apple’s Aqua UI. The theme was marked for internal use only and was described as a “Whistler skin with eye candy” where “Whistler” is the codename of Windows XP.

From the screenshots, its clear the theme was incomplete with only the Start button and some other UI elements being themed. In particular, the UI buttons look like a clear rip-off of the Aqua theme of Macintosh from that era. Microsft never got around to releasing the Aqua theme for Windows XP and it was seemingly only used by Windows developers as a placeholder to build the theme engine of the OS. Microsoft debuted a theme engine with Windows XP in 2001 that opened the gates to a world of customization options and allowed users to theme the UI elements as per their liking.

Microsoft ultimately went with a blue and green Luna theme for Windows XP and two decades later, the UI of both operating systems are nothing like each other, though from time to time, both Apple and Microsoft do tend to copy features from each others OSes.

No wonder that Apple made fun of Microsoft at WWDC 2004 with banners saying “Redmond, start your photocopiers.”

[Via The Verge]